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Turning Holiday Stress Into Stories by Sally J. Walker

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Every culture, nation, religion has its own calendar of annual holidays.  Because the events are repeated, they naturally evolve traditions, both social and familial.  Expectations are created, some good, some bad.  Such circumstances are rich with emotional material a creative writer can exploit for credible circumstances and characters any reader will easily identify with and vicariously enjoy. “Riveting stories create an emotional response in the reader.”  What is more riveting than the soul-deep nostalgia, the humor or the pain of angst-filled stress surrounding holidays shared with friends and family.  We all know about or have personally experienced “plans gone awry.”  How participants react to the changes can create fond memories, chuckles or painful tears. What the creative writer has to do is “let go” of specific details about the real people.  The characterizations have to become amalgamations of many to formulate an iconic character the real-life people will not necessarily recognize.  Seriously.  The reader may identify the event, but only the thoughtless or vindictive writer will immortalize real people.  That is the job of the family historian.  The creative writer’s job is to weave a fictional story with fictional characters everybody will enjoy. First the writer has to wallow in…